I created this bacon jam as the perfect topping for some pretty boring bunless burgers. Don't get me wrong, I do generally like bunless burgers, but sometimes you're looking for something a little special, and this was the case when I concocted bacon jam. It hit quite the flavor spot for the adults in the house!
Notes: Anytime you handle hot peppers, for the love of all that is holy, please wear gloves. You do not want hot pepper in your eye, nose, or any other sensitive place. Trust me on this. I speak from wreckless pepper-handling experience. Just wear the gloves.
A hat-tip must go to one of our long-time group members, Debbi J., for inspiring me to play with leaving out the pepper and making an herbed version instead. It's a very small change, but it makes a very dramatic difference to the flavor profile. Both are equally delightful, just in different ways, and my family greatly enjoyed trying each version.
- 1 lb (16 oz/ 454 g) bacon
- 2 tbsp (1 fl oz/ 30 ml) bacon drippings
- 3 oz (85 g) onion, diced finely
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 habanero pepper, including seeds, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
- 2 1/4 oz (64 g) Lakanto Golden, or equivalent “brown” sweetener
- 4 tbsp. (2 fl oz/ 59 ml) champagne vinegar
- 1/2 c (4 fl oz/ 118 ml) water
- 1 tbsp.(1/2 fl oz/ 15 ml) sherry vinegar
- 1 tbsp (1/2 oz/ 14 g) butter, salted
- Chop uncooked bacon pretty finely. I use kitchen shears to cut it into 1/4-1/2″ pieces. You’re going to put the whole thing in the food processor later, so it doesn’t have to be super precise.
- In a large pot over medium, cook the bacon pieces until crispy. Remove crisp bacon bits with a slotted spoon and let it drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tbsp. the bacon drippings (keep the rest of the drippings, aka liquid gold, in a mason jar for other general cooking).
- Transfer the reserved 2 tbsp. drippings to a small-ish saucepan and heat over medium.
- Once it’s hot, throw in your onion and habanero and begin cooking down, stirring frequently, until the onion is begins to get golden.
- Add the garlic and let cook another 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Stir in the Seasoned Salt, Lakanto Golden, champagne vinegar, water, and the reserved crispy bacon pieces. Mix well and bring to the simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Let the mixture cook down, stirring more frequently the more the liquid cooks off, until there is about 1-2 tbsp. liquid left in the mixture.
- Remove from the heat, add the sherry vinegar and butter, and stir well so the butter melts and incorporates.
- Let stand to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Dump the mixture into a food processor and process until it’s as smooth as you like it. I left mine a little chunky, so that’s totally OK.
- Transfer to a mason jar, push any solids down into the fatty liquid, and let stand to cool.
- You want to serve this warm. Store it in the fridge, but the fats will solidify in the cold, so warm the mixture a good 20-30 seconds in the microwave before each use.
For an herbed (aka, not spicy) version of this condiment, omit the habanero pepper and add 1 to 1 1/2 tsp your favorite dried herbs when you add the Seasoned Salt. I’ve used a mixture of sage and thyme, and it was lovely. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the base recipe. I think this would also be fabulous by adding a splash or two of maple extract while omitting the pepper or herbs.
Per 1 tbsp.: 126.2 cal, 7.8 g protein, 9.8 g fat, 4 g carbs, 0.7 g fiber, 2.4 g sugar alcohol, 0.9 g NET carbs
- Serving Size: Approx. 1 tbsp